An independent committee is in place to organise a series of events in honour of the club’s former captain and manager, who now works as an ambassador at Tynecastle Park.
Those will run during 2022 and will include a game for fans to pay tribute to the 46-year-old. A popular player, Locke was a coach when Hearts won the 2012 Scottish Cup against Hibs and also manager during the trauma of administration in 2013/14.
A statement by the Gary Locke Testimonial Committee read: “After more than 20 years sterling service to Heart of Midlothian FC, Gary Locke is humbled to learn that he has been granted a Testimonial Year.
“Gary joined Hearts aged 17 and initially enjoyed nine years with the club, a period that included the incredible 22 games undefeated run versus Hibs and the Scottish Cup win in 1998.
“A Hearts supporter as a boy, Gary fulfilled his dreams by playing for Hearts and went on to make 189 competitive appearances in maroon and became a huge fans favourite due to his love for the club and his competitive nature.
“Gary left Hearts in 2001 when Jim Jefferies took him to Bradford City. The following year he headed back north, again with Jim, to Kilmarnock where he eventually finished his playing career.
“When Jim was appointed Hearts manager for the second time in 2010, he named Gary as first-team coach, a role he retained when Paolo Sergio replaced Jim. Gary was Paolo’s right-hand man at the 2012 Scottish Cup final.
“He was then appointed caretaker manager after the departure of John McGlynn and took the role on a permanent basis until the end of the 2013/14 season.
“In June 2014 Gary returned to Kilmarnock, initially as assistant manager, before taking over as manager on a permanent basis until April 2015. Gary returned to Hearts as Principal Ambassador in August 2017 and continues to be a fans’ favourite to this day.
“Several events are in the planning to celebrate Gary’s testimonial year with the first being an afternoon in the company of Gary and some special guests – more information to follow very soon!”